Should You File Your Income Tax Online

by : Craig Thornburrow

You've heard that old joke about "death and taxes" being the only two things that we can't avoid in life; and though this may be true, at least we can make one of these things a lot less stressful by preparing our income tax online.

Some people absolutely panic every time April rolls around.? The thought of having to get their tax papers, receipts and other documentation ready is enough to give some folks a headache.? But other people handle tax season much easier, and breeze through the entire process of filing their income tax returns and -- hopefully -- getting a sizable refund.

The truth is, the IRS is much more "user-friendly" that used to be, and there really is no reason to be panicky at tax time.? Of course, we've all heard the horror stories about the old days of the IRS, when some poor sod would lose the family farm because he had filled out his tax forms incorrectly.? But even if those days ever existed, they are long gone now.

The new IRS is a professional and much less dogmatic organization, and as long as one conducts oneself in a professional manner, they are pleasant and professional to work with.? There is absolutely no need to be intimidated.

If you have a small or home based business, then is likely that you have many business-related items to dedu ct, and receipts to keep up with.? In this case, your taxes could be too complicated to handle alone, and working with an accountant could be your best bet.?

H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt are two of the biggest consumer tax filing companies, and you will find that both of these companies are staffed by well-trained accountants that are professional and easy to work with.

And in fact, all business owners should really consider having their taxes done by a third-party.? This is even true if you have a very small home-based business, or a part-time business.? The reason for this is twofold:

First, a professional accountant will likely be aware of deductions that you qualify for which you may have personally missed.? Because the tax laws are constantly changing, it is difficult or even impossible for business owners to stay on top of every deduction they are eligible for.

A professional accountant will be constantly updated and trained in these matters, and will have a much better idea of which items you can safely deduct.

Second, trying to do your taxes yourself is difficult because you have no objectivity.? In other words, you are too close to your business to see it accurately.? Having a professional outside party take a look at your business expenses and receipts can be invaluable, and they will very often find deductions and strategies that you may have missed.

But whether you work with a professional accountant, or prefer to do your taxes yourself, you will find that the new IRS web site is a gold mine of information that can help you make sense of the tax laws and how they apply to your specific situation.? The web site also has downloadable tax forms for any eventuality and a contact page where you can speak to an IRS representative live.

And don't forget, the IRS offers free income tax preparation to students, the elderly, disabled veterans, and others who qualify.